Our First Sail on Lake Michigan With Kids

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We’ve been loving our “up north cabin on the lake” this summer—our Catalina 30. The girls are getting into a better routine (although I’ll be honest—bedtime is not great. Arden pops up constantly and giggles at us as if to say, “Haha, I’m not going to bed while I can clearly see that everyone else is still awake up there”).

The good news is that both girls have been doing great with life jackets, and Zel knows that she needs to put one on before going “upstairs.” It really is becoming our little home away from home.

This weekend was about as perfect as we could hope for (besides bedtime). We had dinner at the beach, where two wedding parties came through to take photos, and Zel asked me, “Are those your princesses?” because she thinks I work with princesses (brides) for a living. We swam, paddle boarded and finally set up our autopilot to sail on Lake Michigan as a family for the first time. We’re going to squeeze every last moment that we can out of the last few weeks of summer.)
interior cabin of a Catalina 30 (sailing with young kids)
interior cabin of a Catalina 30 (sailing with young kids)
interior cabin of a Catalina 30 (sailing with young kids)
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We were resigned to stay on Lake Muskegon for the rest of the season while the girls are so little, but we had the perfect weather, and we finally got the autopilot set up, so we headed out for a 15 nautical mile sail as a family. You can tell by the photo below that Zel was super impressed by the whole thing 🙂

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Arden was also highly impressed by the view, as you can see.

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I tied my camera up and let Zel take a photo of me.

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Arden decided to call it after about three hours, but ultimately, both girls ended up falling asleep down below before we made it back to the marina.

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Meet Baby N

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I LOVE the maternity and newborn session combo. There’s something so special about being able to photograph a family from that time of the energy of expectation through the blissful exhaustion that comes with a newborn.

I’ve found myself so drawn to the lifestyle newborn photos at home lately—photos that include the rest of the family. There’s an undeniably special connection when you add in parents and siblings, and as someone pointed out to me, you have to imagine how amazing it will be for this little girl when she gets older and looks back at these moments when her parents held her and snuggled her in close with a look of awe and wonder.

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Here’s a mockup of the 9-up Storytelling frame to put both of these sessions together to tell the whole story in one place.

Storytelling frame with maternity and newborn photos

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Rural Family Photos with Three Little Brothers

Lansing photo locations: rural family photos with three brothers

I first met this adorable family last year when I photographed their family photos on MSU’s campus. Last fall, we got together again to focus on the boys with golden light sweeping in over the farm behind us (thanks to Lisa for being a champion at holding the reflector to keep the sun from flaring up in my camera).

These boys have always made me so excited to watch my own daughters grow up together—it’s so much fun to see them interact—especially when I let them loose as a big ball of boy energy 🙂

Lansing photo locations: rural family photos with three brothers
Lansing photo locations: rural family photos with three brothers
Lansing photo locations: rural family photos with three brothers
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A Sister Session + A Surprise For Mom

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Casey came to me on a secret mission – to put together a photo shoot with her sister, Amy, and to surprise their mom with beautiful framed photos of the two of them together for Christmas. I was ALLLL about this mission, so we set out for Fenner Nature Center to make it happen.

As a mom to two daughters, I can only hope that they’ll turn out as sweet and loving as these two. Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the photo they sent me of the final photos framed in their mom’s house (I especially love the puzzle in the photo—it reminds me so much of my own mom!).

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